The Arab region has been witnessing a period of change and quest for new societal relations between the citizen and the state, based on respect of fundamental freedoms, rights, dignity, and rule of law. Along the multiplicity of factors including political repressions, corruption, and lack of accountability and legitimacy of Arab regimes, the peoples’ uprisings and revolutions in multiple Arab countries have reflected a failure of social and economic policies, according to the Network. Indeed, citizens are calling for a new development paradigm, which re-enforces the right to development and economic and social rights and justice. Accordingly, the democratic process and practice in the region necessitates revising the approach to the economic and social policies and policy making, aligned with reforms of political systems and enhancing the role of civil society, observed the ANND.
These changes in the Arab countries necessitate a re-thinking of priorities and policy approaches in the cooperation and partnerships with the European Union, on various fronts whether political, economic, social, and cultural. One of the main challenges to be addressed is seeking coherence among the various levels of cooperation between the EU and Arab countries, specifically among the development cooperation and the economic partnership, including the trade and investment relations. Furthermore, the region witnesses have swept across the whole Arab region, including the Maghreb, Mashreq, and Gulf countries, thus requiring a holistic approach in the revision of the relation between the EU and the various Arab countries.
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